Whether it's a 90-degree, humid day or 45 with the rain whipping across the fairway, it's naïve and irresponsible to believe you can make it through a four-hour round without water in your system. Medical studies have proved that dehydration negatively impacts athletic performance—physically and mentally. It's also a legitimate health risk.
Though we'll concede that drinking something is better than nothing at all, our choices for the best things to hydrate with while playing golf are all some form of plain ol' water. No flavored "sports drinks" made our list, because they contain unwanted calories, sugar or artificial sweeteners, and other man-made additives.
What you need instead is water. Sometimes you need it loaded with minerals such as electrolytes to counter the loss of water through sweat. And sometimes you need water infused with vitamins and antioxidants, just to stay healthy. And sometimes you want a little fizz without worrying about rotting your teeth the way a soda could. The point is, water has been our key source of hydration since we discovered fire, so to suggest something does a better job at keeping your body primed for an athletic activity is laughable. All you need is water. And these choices satisfy those needs.
Evian Mineral, $26 for 24 11.2-ounce bottles
LaCroix Grapefruit, $22 for 24 12-ounce cans
Wanu Water+Nutrition, $28 for 12 16-ounce bottles
SPARKLING MINERAL WATER
Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral, $17 for six 16.9-ounce bottles